Salute to Seniors: Dawson Desrosiers

School: Thornton Academy

What was your most memorable race/meet?
My most memorable race/meet was winning Southwesterns in the Jr. 800 my sophomore year of indoor track. I improved by 23 seconds between my freshman and sophomore year in the 800!

Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
I would consider Landon Heidrich (TA '19) my biggest competition, we ran a total of seven seasons together and always pushed each other to new limits, whether it was in workouts, XC, or 800s. Competing closely with Landon has helped us build a lifetime friendship.

What was your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was either, coming in tenth place at the regional XC meet my junior year, and being selected to the second-team all-conference, or placing third overall in the state in the 4x800 my junior year out of the unseeded heat, and then breaking the school indoor record at New England's a week or two later.

If you could do it all over again what would you change about your xc/track&field career in high school?
If I could do it all over again, I would've begun running all three seasons in my freshman year, instead of sophomore year. I played football, and lacrosse my freshman year, and stopped playing both my sophomore year to pursue running year-round.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
The most difficult obstacle that I had to overcome, was when I missed my junior year of outdoor track due to a small bowel obstruction. The obstruction led to a major surgery towards the beginning of the season and didn't allow me to run for two months. The toughest part about this obstacle was knowing that I couldn't help out my team and run even if I'd wanted to. Getting back into running was a lengthy process throughout the summer going into senior year, but I persevered and had a strong senior season.

What will you miss the most?
I think what I'll miss most is how much fun I had running with my teammates every day, the dogs will always hold a special place in my heartī¸

What advice you would give to younger athletes?
My advice for younger athletes would be to just enjoy racing in high school, try not to put too much pressure on yourself, and keep your foot on the gas. It may not seem like it, but high school will come to an end before you know it, so hold on tight to every moment and don't take your opportunities for granted!

What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
George Mendros, Tom Quentin, and Eric Marston have all had different influences on me with respect to my performance and life goals. George has coached me in track since I was eight years old, he's taught me simple things like, how to properly do high knees in jeans, how to be on time for important things, and how to enjoy the sport. TQ has always kept me in line, he gives great pre-race pep talks, and he lets me know when I have a bad race, and I love him for that. He welcomed me with open arms when I joined the cross country team my sophomore year and always pushed me to new heights, despite his 5-foot stature... Mr. Marston was deemed the nickname, "Uncle Marty" during honors US history my junior year and the more I've thought about it, this nickname has become more and more fitting. Even though Uncle Marty only coached me for one season, we've created a bond that feels like he's been coaching me for much longer than just one season. His electric energy and passion for endurance competition are unmatched. His knowledge of the idea of running and training closely tying in with life is something that I truly appreciate. My teacher, my coach, my friend, my long lost Uncle Marty. These three guys have molded me not just into the runner I am today, but the person I am today as well.

How do you feel about missing your senior season due to the coronavirus?
I'm devastated, I had one last crack at going sub-two in the 800 before I head up to Orono in the fall, sub-two was my big goal for senior year. Unfortunately, coronavirus had other plans for me. However, I'm grateful to have been able to run cross country and indoor track this year.

What are your college plans?
I'll be attending the University of Maine at Orono where I'll be majoring in Medical Laboratory Science, and running XC and track for the Black Bears.

Who would you like to say thank you to?
My Mom, Dad, younger brother Erik, George Mendros, TQ, Uncle Marty, and everyone else who has shown support to me over the past four years, whether it was in the classroom, or in running.

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